Wyoming Assembles Panel to Explore Legalization
July 2nd, 2015
Policy, Top News
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead assembled a marijuana impact assessment council to determine how marijuana usage would affect the public ahead of a push for legalization that could put the issue before voters at some point in 2016. Among other things, the council will consider issues related to health, law enforcement, and costs, before the Wyoming Legislature convenes early next year to discuss the hotbed issue.
Earlier this year, cannabis activists filed initial paperwork to start the petition process that could put medical marijuana legalization before voters next year. The Wyoming Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is sponsoring the effort. Organizers must get signatures from 15% of voters in the 2014 election, which amounts to more than 25,000 valid signatures, as a ballot initiative in order to succeed.
Wyoming has traditionally opposed medical and recreational marijuana legalization and shot down a similar bill this year. Gov. Mead, a former federal prosecutor, has made it crystal clear that he opposes all kinds of legalization, but felt that the state needs to assess the effect of recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, as well as the broader legalization of medical marijuana in several other states to get a better picture.
“We recognize that whatever laws we have here in Wyoming, whether they change or not, we still know that we’re impacted by other states and the laws they have,” said Mead. “For all our citizens who may share my view on legalization being against it, I think we need to gather as much data as we can.”
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